He was navigator on Charles Ulm's
Australia-England flights in 1933. Taylor and Kingsford Smith completed
the first Australia to the US flight in 1934. In 1935 Taylor was
Kingsford Smith's navigator for the King George V Jubilee airmail flight
from Australia to New Zealand. Six hours into the flight the starboard
engine failed and the aircraft turned back. When the oil pressure
dropped on the port engine Taylor
saved the flight by climbing out of the fuselage, edging along the
engine connecting strut to collect oil from the starboard engine which
he then transferred to the port engine.
He repeated the process five times and
the plane returned safely. For his courage and resourcefulness Taylor
was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal.
Official name: Medal of the Most Excellent Order of
the British Empire for GALLANTRY (known as the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM)).
(The Empire Gallantry Medal was later made redundant and 'swapped"
for the George Cross).
In 1939 Taylor made the first flight
from Western Australia to Kenya. During the Second World War he ferried
flying-boats from the US to Australia. In 1943 he joined the RAAF but
transferred to the RAF in 1944 ferrying aircraft from Canada to
He flew an RAF Catalina on a survey
flight from Bermuda to Sydney. In 1951 he flew from Australia to Chile
in another Catalina. He published eight books on his flying experiences.
He was knighted in 1954 and died in 1966. Text